AOPA weighs in to protect Pearson Field

June 26, 2008

Don’t forget to protect local airports when deciding how to approach a major highway and bridge renovation project. That was the message AOPA delivered to transportation officials in responding to a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) on plans to revamp a five-mile stretch of Interstate 5 between Vancouver, Wash., and Portland, Ore.

In its response to the EIS, AOPA noted that the renovation could positively affect Pearson Field in Vancouver, one of the nation’s oldest airports and home to 175 based aircraft and 53,000 operations per year. Two options, so-called alternatives 2 and 3, would eliminate existing lift towers, reducing the departure climb gradient from 650 feet per nautical mile to 275 feet per nautical mile.

“Reducing the climb gradient would provide significant safety benefits for operations at Pearson Field,” said AOPA Senior Director of Airports Heidi Williams, who wrote to transportation officials reminding them of the importance of the airport. “This is a vital and historic airport, and it deserves protection.”

The draft environmental impact statement is open for public comment through July 1. Comments can be submitted via e-mail.